Common Wealth in Wales Toward a free, equal, mutual and sustainable society - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

1 / 31
About This Presentation

Common Wealth in Wales Toward a free, equal, mutual and sustainable society


Title: A Prosperous Way Down? Exploring Green Economic Futures for Wales Author: Steven Robert Harris Last modified by: Steven Robert Harris Created Date – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:103
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 32
Provided by: Steven768


Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Common Wealth in Wales Toward a free, equal, mutual and sustainable society

Common Wealth in Wales Toward a free, equal,
mutual and sustainable society
Wednesday 21st April, Torfaen Peoples Centre,
Dr. Steven Harris, Science Shops Wales,
University of Glamorgan
The Earth is an Integrated System
The Earth System is in Crisis
Over the last two decades a new imperative has
come to dominate environmental concerns. With a
rapidly increasing understanding of the nature of
Earths life support system, a growing awareness
has emerged that human activities are exerting an
ever-accelerating influence on aspects of Earth
System functioning upon which the welfare and the
future of human societies depend. IGBP Global
Change and the Earth System A Planet Under
Pressure (2004)
The Global Picture - Recent Studies
  • Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United
  • Reports on food and sustainability (2004-8)
  • The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
  • Global Change and the Earth System A Planet
    Under Pressure (2004)
  • The UNEP Millennium Ecosystems Assessment
  • Living Beyond our Means (2005)
  • Ecosystems and Human Well-Being (2005)
  • United Nations Environment Programme
  • Global Environment Outlook 4 environment for
    development (2007)
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Synthesis Report of the IPCC Fourth Assessment
    Report (2007)

  • The global atmosphere is warming - as a result,
    the global climate is changing. These changes are
    happening more rapidly, and are likely to be more
    extreme, than recently anticipated.
  • One to two-thirds of all species of plants,
    animals, and other organisms may die out over the
    coming decades.
  • Many of the natural resources and services upon
    which humanity depends are severely depleted or
  • Billions of people around the world lead lives
    marred by thirst, hunger, poverty and conflict.

A Common Cause - Us
  • All studies clearly identify human activity as a
    primary cause of the Earth System Crisis
  • The 20th Century has seen exponential growth in
    human populations, made possible by the
    industrial-scale exploitation of natural
    resources and services particularly fossil
    fuels (coal, oil and gas)
  • The globalised industrial economy is committed to
    continuing growth in production and consumption
  • Growth demands ever-increasing energy and
    resource inputs
  • Growth results in increasing levels of pollution,
    resource depletion, species loss and ecosystem

Increasing rates of change in human activity
since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
(2004). Global Change and the Earth System A
Planet Under Pressure
Increasing rates of change in human activity
since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
(2004). Global Change and the Earth System A
Planet Under Pressure
Global-scale changes in the Earth System as a
result of the dramatic increase in human activity
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
(2004). Global Change and the Earth System A
Planet Under Pressure
Global-scale changes in the Earth System as a
result of the dramatic increase in human activity
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
(2004). Global Change and the Earth System A
Planet Under Pressure
our economy is killing the Earth
New Scientist, 16 October 2008
This is the logic of free-market capitalism the
economy must grow continuously or face an
unpalatable collapse. With the environmental
situation reaching crisis point, however, it is
time to stop pretending that mindlessly chasing
economic growth is compatible with
sustainability. Figuring out an alternative to
this doomed model is now a priority.. From
Why politicians dare not limit economic growth by
Tim Jackson, pp. 42-3.
Growth Addiction
  • Views humans as individualistic, tribal,
  • Views nature as a resource separate, infinitely
  • Celebrates benefits of technology, ignores costs
  • Values present (much) more highly than the future
  • Disproportionally benefits those with capital,
    increasing the concentration of asset ownership
    and further widening gaps between rich and poor
  • Has structural lock-in to existing economic
  • Money as Debt
  • Return on Investment
  • Employment
  • Is utterly dependent on concentrated, high value
    energy inputs

A Local Example 3 Planet Wales
  • Wales 2003 ecological footprint was 5.16 global
    hectares per person (X 3 global carrying capacity
    of 1.8 gha pp)
  • The footprint of Wales has increased at an
    average rate of 1.5 per year between 1990 and
  • This closely mirrors the growth in Gross Value
    Added (GVA) in Wales over the same period
  • Between 1990-2008 energy consumption increased by
    5.1 - there were decreases in industrial energy
    consumption but large increases in domestic (12)
    and transport (21) energy consumption
  • If the historic growth in footprint were to
    continue at rate of 1.5 a year, this would
    result in an ecological footprint 20 higher than
    the 2003 figure (6.19gha/capita) in 2020

E. Dawkins, A. Paul, J. Barrett, J. Minx and K.
Scott (2008). Wales Ecological Footprint -
Scenarios to 2020. Stockholm Stockholm
Environment Institute
Growth Depends on Energy
There has also been a very close relationship
between the rate of growth of world output and
the rate of growth of its consumption of oil.
Growth Creates Pollution
The link between economic activity and global
warming The rate of increase in world Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) has moved very closely in
step with Carbon Dioxide emissions from fossil
fuel use.
Benefits of Degrowth
  • Longest recession in UK since records began
    economy shrank by 6 since 2008
  • UK emissions of Co2 fell by 9.8 - from 533m
    tonnes in 2008 to 481m tonnes in 2009
  • Overall output of the six main greenhouse gases
    fell by 8.6.
  • Bigger reductions in one year than all the other
    years of Labour government put together
  • According to DECC, main cause reductions in
    energy consumption as economy contracted
  • Globally, the International Energy Agency
    estimated world CO2 emissions to have fallen by
    around 3 in 2009 - only the fourth recorded fall
    in the past 50 years on average global
    emissions have grown by 3 year on year.

Efficiency is not the Answer
  • Research has demonstrated that that
    technological progress that increases the
    efficiency with which a resource is used, tends
    to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of
    consumption of that resource
  • This is the famous Jevons Paradox, first noted
    with regard to coal consumption - an increase in
    the efficiency with which a resource (e.g., fuel)
    is used causes a decrease in the price of that
    resource when measured in terms of what it can
    achieve (e.g., work). A decrease in the price of
    a good or service increases the quantity
  • This type of Rebound Effect has three aspects
  • Increased fuel efficiency lowers the cost of
    consumption, and hence increases the consumption
    of that good because of the substitution effect.
  • Decreased cost of the good enables increased
    household consumption of other goods and
    services, increasing the consumption of the
    resource embodied in those goods and services.
  • New technology creates new production
    possibilities in and increases economic growth

Whats to be Done?
  • Macro-level reforms are possible, e.g.
  • Design for steady-state economy
  • Decouple money creation from debt
  • cap and trade carbon emissions
  • Massive investment in renewables
  • green taxes on polluter pays principle
  • tax land value
  • provide statutory citizens income
  • But politicians and policy-makers locked into
    growth at all costs complete culture change
  • Power of corporations, direct and through
  • So real change must begin at the grassroots and

Reclaiming the Commons
  • Ecosystems science has shown us that the great
    interlocking systems of nature are our true
    common wealth, providing the conditions for all
    life on Earth
  • The Commons are resources required by all,
    without which human activities are impossible
    such as woodlands, atmosphere, fresh water,
    fisheries and grazing land
  • The commons can also be understood to include the
    products of collective human culture art,
    science, religion public goods such as public
    space, education, healthcare and essential
    infrastructure, such as roads, power transmission
    and telecommunications networks.
  • There is also a genetic commonwealth seeds and
    crop strains, the human genome.
  • In theory, all should have equal rights of access
    to the commons
  • Enclosure or accumulation by dispossession is
    the process by which the commons are transformed
    into private property is termed enclosure
  • Privatization and commodification of public
    assets is a process of transferring property such
    as buildings, land, and water from public to
    private ownership, providing new means of making
    private profits and driving economic growth.
  • The enclosure of the commons has been called the
    revolution of the rich against the poor.

The Real Common Wealth of Wales
  • Cultivated grazing land for food, fuel and
  • Uncultivated land for biodiversity ecosystems
  • Woodlands for timber and fuel
  • Wind, Wave and Solar power for energy
  • Fresh Water
  • Roads, railways, power and telecomms networks
  • Our healthcare system and infrastructure
  • People Skills, History Culture

Solutions - Frameworks
  • Cooperatives
  • Social Enterprises
  • Community Finance Initiatives
  • Credit Unions Microfinance
  • Community Currencies
  • Timebanks and Barter schemes
  • Community Land Trusts

Solutions - Actions
  • Community Renewable Energy/microgeneration
  • Community/localised Food Production
  • Community-supported agriculture
  • Community-supported Schools
  • Communiversities
  • Low-impact development

Wales People Economy
  • 2009 population 2,993,000
  • 1,316,000 or 69.4 of those of working age were
    employed (UK average 72.5) - average full-time
    earnings in 2008 498 per week
  • 8.1 unemployed, up from 5.6 in 2008.
  • GVA (Gross Value Added) of the Welsh economy in
    2007 was 44.3 billion, around 14,880 per head,
    25 lower than the overall figure for the UK
  • Gross disposable household income (GDHI) in 2007
    for Wales was 37.5 billion or 12,574 per head
    of population. This represented 87.8 per cent of
    the UK figure, down from 88.0 in 2006
  • Poverty in Wales affects all age groups (Kenway
    Palmer, 2007). There were more working-age adults
    in poverty than children and pensioners in
    poverty combined, with poverty among disabled
    working-age adults higher than a decade
  • 10 of 16- to 18-year-olds not in employment,
    education or training.
  • Child poverty in Wales 28. Around 1 of children
    in situations likely to lead to serious
  • Wales is among the poorest and slowest growing of
    the 10 regional economies of the UK

Wales Renewable Energy
  • Sustainable renewable energy potential to
  • Current Electricity consumption 23 TWhr pa
  • Potential total capacity 48 TWhr pa
  • Wales has potential to become net electricity
  • Source WAG. (2010). A Low Carbon Revolution

Wales - Land People
  • The total land area of Wales is around 2.1
    million hectares
  • 1.5 million hectares are used for agriculture,
    85 grassland and rough grazing.
  • In 2004, land use in Wales consisted of 62
    permanent grass (1010000 ha), 23 rough grazing
    (383000 ha), only 11 arable land (177000 ha) and
    4 woodland and other lands including set-aside
    (64000 ha)
  • Currently around 3 million people live in Wales
  • Overall population density 140 people per Km2
  • UK average 246/Km2.
  • Population is unevenly distributed in Wales e.g.
  • Torfaen has 717/Km2 and Blaenau Gwent 631/ Km2
  • Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire 74/ Km2
  • Powys 45 Km2.
  • We have a lot of space!
  • Used effectively, grassland and marginal, rough
    grazing could be among our greatest assets

The Green Valleys ProjectBrecon Beacons National
  • Community Interest Company - Low Risk - High
    Return seed projects
  • Support, advice and finance packages for local
  • 5 local groups Talybont, Crucorney, Dyffryn
    Crawnon, Cwmdu and Llangattock
  • Community Microhydro projects Dyffryn Crawnon
    16kW Talgarth 3.5 kW Cwmdu 7.5kW Llangattock
    3 kW, 6.9kW, 15kW and 16kW Crucorney 8kW
    Llandeussant 11 in development phase
  • By 2012 community hydros will be generating over
    100k per annum for reinvestment in low carbon
  • 155 homes reduced carbon emissions by 20
  • Community owned electric cars
  • 2 community woodland groups established
  • Setting up community commercial lending
  • Establishing Upland Restoration Fund to safeguard
    ecosystem services
  • Long-term aim to make National Park a
    carbon-negative region

Cwmdeithas Cwm ArianHermon, Glogue and
Llanfyrnach, Pembrokeshire
  • 200 houses and farms around 3 villages
  • Local Community Forum all voluntary
  • Pub closed bought Marquee and reopened!
  • In 2003 formed CLT raised 137,000 for
    affordable housing
  • Opposed closure of local primary school - failed
  • Developed and agreed Community Action Plan 2004
  • Formed Community Cooperative raised 65,000 in
    share issue
  • Formed Credit Union and made small loans to buy
    shares now 0.5m in savings
  • Celtic Blue Rock Community Festival non-profit,
    all proceeds to charity/community funds - 10,000
    attend each year
  • School buildings purchased, now Community
    Resource Conference Centre hosting IT
    facilities and 3 business startups
  • Plans to build small industrial units
  • 2009 gained funding to install 2 community wind
    turbines (1.4 MW) to generate income for
    community investment fund
  • Now planning to reopen school, employ own teachers

Cwm Harry Land TrustNewtown, Powys
  • Social Enterprise - charity company limited by
    guarantee - employs 10
  • Aims to demonstrate a sustainable, closed loop
    system of food production and food-waste
  • Collects food waste from 10,000 local households
    and businesses
  • Processes waste produces compost energy
    through anaerobic digestion
  • Produces food locally on own land and through
    network of local suppliers
  • Distributes local, seasonal and organic food
    through Veggie-bag service

Bro Dyfi Community RenewablesMachynlleth, Powys
  • Est. 2001 - community energy co-operative
    registered under Industrial and Provident
    Societies Acts one vote per shareholder
  • 59 shareholders, shares 100, max holding 1000
  • Only institutional shareholder the Energy Savings
  • Dividends from EST's shares are put into a
    Community Energy Saving Fund, for reinvestment
  • Installed 75 kilowatt Vestas wind turbine at
    Cilgwyn, 2003 - Produces c 163 megawatt-hours
    (163,000 units) pa
  • First dividend to shareholders, 2004
  • Now installing new 500kW wind turbine on Mynydd
    Glandulas c 1,000 megawatt-hours pa
  • Power purchase agreement  (PPA) with Good Energy
    will yield more than 100 per MW hr generated

Lammas Eco-village Glandwr, Pembrokeshire (1)
  • 76 acres of pasture and woodland
  • Developing 9 eco-smallholdings, a community hub
    building and a seasonal campsite
  • Completely independent of mains services -
    microhydro, biomass, rainwater harvesting and a
    spring) from the land. Designs for the houses
    include a 4-unit terrace, an earth sheltered
    house, straw bale houses, a cob house, and more.
  • All houses being self-built with materials
    sourced from the site, and will blend into the
  • Surrounding smallholdings will produce food and
    support land-based enterprises basketry, smoked
    hams, hazelnuts, woodland products, wool crafts
    and medicinal herbal preparations.

Lammas Eco-village Glandwr, Pembrokeshire (2)
  • Transformation of land use through Permaculture
  • intensive horticulture, heavily reliant on human
    skilled input, which sets out to create
    artificial, self-sustaining ecosystems which
    produce food and energy yeilds for humans
  • Has the potential to revolutionise perceptions of
    the Welsh countryside
  • 76 acres that Lammas has purchased was supporting
    approximately 195 ewes, bringing in a yearly
    income of approximately 2,500 - a small
    percentage of one farming familys income 
  • Lammas year cash flow forecasts and productivity
    accounts suggest that after a 5
    year establishment period, the land will produce
    the equivalent of approximately 108,000
    land-based produce per annum - a living for nine
Write a Comment
User Comments (0)